I think it's the seller's responsibility to pack it safely. I have paid seller for shipping material on one occassion and felt cheated later. It's all up to negotiation, however.
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If I don't have the original box, I tried to do a secure packaging with the materials I have on hand. My idea is to send what I would like to receive. It is part of a great deal, not just any deal.
I never ask the buyer for extra money in case I need to buy additional packing materials.
Just what I use to do.
while in general a seller is responsible for adequate packaging, I have on occasion , as a buyer, offered some extra payment, particularly if I felt that
1) the basic price the seller was offering was very good
2) the original packaging might use some help to fend off UPS/USPS/FedEx.
In general if I ask someone to go that extra mile I offer some cash for it ... and the goodwill this generates has always paid off for me since all items I have bought have been received extremely well packed, and without any damage.
Whether you purchase from a store or private seller, the seller should take full responsibilty for packing the item in a manner that will provide substantial protection. Do stores charge for the proper packing? Not to my knowledge. Should sellers charge for packing the item, even if it requires double boxing? As a seller, I wouldn't charge for it; and as a buyer, I wouldn't pay for it. As a seller, I would want the buyer to receive the item in the condition it was advertised as. To assure the packing is adequate, I always over pack, and over tape.
I always let know to the buyer if there is an original box otherwise the box is being ordered from the manufacturer OR(i admit the small scam) by chance I take the box free from the dealer for a specific component if he sells it.
It realy depends on the price of the unit sold. If there is no box and the item is heavy I would only sell locally or order original ply-wood creates that cannot be cheap and are alot extra to the price paid for the unit. For shipping records if shipped three records or more I don't charge for the card-board LP mailer that is nearly $1.25 if bought with large quantities from www.bagsunlimited.com. Otherwise I charge $0.60 share price since I do accumulate and re-use some cardboard mailers that are incoming for my personal collection from ebay or other domestic and import record stores (certainly depending on its condition).
The other way of my shipping savings(to me and to the buyer) is the FedEx office that is located next to my office. When I bring the item to FedEx I avoid being charged a pick-up fee that is arround $3...7 depending on the size and the weight of the item.
In all cases the buyer should be notified about handling charges he might be facing and the buyer at the same time can negotiate (please note, that the key point is negotiation whether you're buyer or seller) it in terms of for instance splitting the handling charges between the two parties or let's say "My price offered is final and must include shipping in wood create and UPS or FedEx air. Got it?!".
Finally, in most of these cases you can get along with no complains just with proper negotiations no-matter if you're buyer or seller.
Some sellers are great and understand the concept of customer satisfaction. Others seem peeved that they must go to any effort at all to convey the product to the buyer, as if it's the buyers fault and consequent responsibility for purchasing. Some sellers engender your goodwill by keeping you posted promptly about expected costs and ship dates. Others have a 99 cent mentality and will do whatever they can to wheedle the last buck out of anybody. Out in the real world, boxes are a fact of life and a part of making sales. So yeah, the seller should provide the packing or at least warn the buyer up front that he/she is a chiseling, nickel-dime cheapskate.
If I do not have the original shipping box/boxes, I indicate the price for packaging on the add. I would package the items myself, but feel the unit/s being sold are priced at fair and market value. The 'extra' for packaging is for as much for ME as it is the BUYER! The buyer does not want a damaged package just as much as the seller doesn't want it to arrive damaged.
The beauty of all online transactions is that we can all negotiate. EVER person selling SHOULD do whatever it takes to BE SURE the packages arrives safe and as described.
If this means adding this into the cost of the item and just charge 'actual shipping', so be it. The SELLER needs to be aware of the necessity of proper packaging.
NOW, the BUYER has a responsibility as well, in fact, an equal amount I would say. Suppose you are buying a $1,000 amp, it weighs 75 pounds and the seller indicates no origial box but tells you shipping is $41.22. As a buyer, you should question HOW this individual plans on shipping an amp that weighs 75 pounds without the factory box.
I think we ALL know by now, UPS and FedEx WILL NOT COVER CLAIMS for electronics for damage that:
1) is not double boxes.
2) does not have 2" or 4" of padding on ALL sides of the inner box with APPROPRIATE packaging. This does not mean newspaper and a few peanuts.
3) there is no indication of damage to the exterior of the shipping box.
As a buyer, you need to be aware of this and ask the questions to prevent damage to YOUR investment. After all, you buy insurance for you auto, home, and life, a few questions and $'s is a WONDERFULLY inexpensive way to avoid disappointment and frustrations with your new and exciting audio purchases!!!!
If you look on eBay you will notice that a lot of items with high fixed shipping charges end up selling for less. Most people know what they'll pay regardless of the details.
But them some folks like a deal. Reminds me of the car companies who raise their prices $700 and then offer a $500 rebate. Ha!! Car companies use the term "No Extra Charge" a lot. In case you missed that week's marketing class, that item at No Extra Charge is not free, it's included in the base price.
I'm obliged to ship in the original packaging (or better if I don't have box). If the buyer wants double boxing they can pay what MailBoxes Etc. charge me for it. I always offer to pay for double boxing when buying, it's worth it to me. BTW, as a reference, I sold something on Ebay and shipped it last week:
"I got up early this morning and packed up the CDR. Took me an hour cuz I'm one paranoid dude when it comes to shipping:
I put the unit in a plastic bag and taped it shut. I then put the CDR into a Denon DVD box I had lying around. Styrofoam peanuts under, around, and on top of the unit. Sealed the box.
I then put this box into a second, larger box. I had a bag of foam chips on hand; lined the bottom of the second box with the foam, slid the Denon box in, then put lots of foam chips on top. I wrapped the remote control in bubble wrap (I put fresh Duracell AAA batteries in the remote for you), threw the power cord in, and a printed copy of the owners manual and fact sheet (in a 8.5" x 11" brown envelope). I used saran wrap to make up three "bundles" of blank CDR's, 12 in all. They're "floating" in the foam chips as
The remote, CDR's, manual, and power cord are all sitting in the foam ships on top of the boxed CDR. Take the time to
sort through the loose chips to get all this stuff, don't throw anything away!
I taped the second box up real well. I printed out your address on my printer and taped it securely to the box. On the top and both sides of the box are your address. Impossible for them not to know where to send this baby. I've already filled out the Expedited Parcel Waybill and will drop off the box at the post office this morning. You can track the package at:......."
IMHO, it depends on the ad. If it claims to have origianl box, unless otherwise noted it should have the original packing material. If it reads buyer pays shipping then buyer should pay for packaging (other than the origianl box and packing material if so advertised as included in the ad). If it reads seller then the inverse is true. If the ad reads split costs, then split costs. The shipper is responsible for doing it right and according to agreement. If the item is damaged in transit the seller should assume responsibilty. If the seller demands certain packing requirements, so be it, unless the buyer explicitly waives the the sellers responsibility and assumes all responsibilty. This is all part of the negotiations that preceed confirmation of a deal.
As seller I always take my time & overpack to the max plus. Original cartons I typically stuff the sides, top, & bottom with extra foam / bubble pack / peanuts / air bags / whatever I can get in there. Cables / remotes are tied securely, padded & bagged separately; manuals in separate envelopes. There should be nothing floating around loose in the carton. Whenever possible I place the carton inside another box with extra padding / foam / bubble pack. Certainly there's some extra weight & I try to allow for that when estimating shipping charges which buyer (typically) pays, but if the charges are a bit higher then I cover the difference. I'd rather have a happy buyer & a done deal than return shipping charges, repairs, resell listings, lots of headaches which can generally be avoided by doing the job right the first time. I pack to the condition in which I'd like to receive if I was buyer. Consequently I've never had a complaint or a damaged item report, even when the buyer unwisely insists upon shoddy UPS shipping. I usually try to steer them toward Fed-X Ground in that case, which is typically a bit less expensive anyway. And due to some previously experienced complications I never use COD to buy or to sell. I've even had to turn down an offer when buyer insists on COD; it's just not worth the hassle.
I don't have much to add except to reiterate:
1. Its all subject to negotiation
2. Basic boxing/packaging should be included
3. You should always insist on paying actual shipping costs, whether its just the "postage" or includes cost of a double box, whatever.
As an aside, if you use a service like Mailboxes, etc. they take responsibility for any damage if they box it up, and they are easier to collect from, in any event.
Is it a Ying or Yang? Anyway I've gone both ways but just to add to the thread (Rope by now) MAKE SURE the item is wrapped in a plastic bag of some sorts...MOISTURE, always double box with foam rubber or styrafoam between the boxes..ALL SIX SIDES and proportion to the weight of the item is the size difference between inner box and outer box. Stop and look at the packaging of large items you may have (electronic by nature) and that will help you judge. Last...make sure the item you receive (electronic) acclimates to room temperature..maybe a day, to ensure NO CONDENSATION.
If you want your item to arrive in one piece, you should pack it like it is going to be dropped from an airplane.
I would only add that if a seller intends to use a third party professional packing and shipping service ( Mailboxes Etc, Pack & Ship ) and expects to pass the cost of that onto the buyer, it should be stated in the original add. This tells the potential buyers that shipping costs will be two to three times higher than normal. As such, the buyer might want to take this into consideration when making an offer.
There is nothing like finding out that the item that you purchased for $75 will cost you $60+ to have shipped to you. I recently ran into this exact situation and was not happy about it to say the least.
As to filing claims with UPS or Fed Ex via Mailboxes Etc or Pack & Ship, good luck. You now have a third party involved and things only get more complicated. I know as i've been there / done that several times. It is not fun being on the receiving end of a damaged package and then getting the run-around from both UPS / Fed Ex and Mailboxes Etc. Remember, whoever ships the package is who the insurance and associated claim forms / checks are issued to. If you ship through Mailboxes Etc, they have to fill out all of the forms, etc... As such, third party shipping should be avoided at all costs unless there is no other reasonable alternative. Sean